Maybe what's most shocking to Ravens fans this week are all the haters coming out to bash Ray Lewis.
But this was bound to happen. While he's revered here in Baltimore, NFL fans in the rest of the country tend to take a more jaundiced view of the future Hall of Famer — even in the midst of this emotional "last ride."
Sure, most Ravens fans see No. 52 as the heart and soul of the Ravens, a passionate, spiritual man who gave his all to his team, loves the city and gives tirelessly to the community.
But outside of Baltimore, while his greatness as a player is acknowledged, Lewis is often perceived as an overly theatrical phony. And some still think he got off easy after two men were killed in Atlanta following the Super Bowl 13 years ago.
Think I exaggerate about the level of vitriol directed at Ray-Ray?
Here's a snippet from a recent piece on Lewis by Gary Myers, the veteran football columnist for the New York Daily News:
"He has become a shameless self-promoter, preaching worldly philosophy that nobody other than his teammates, whom he wants to believe hang on his every word, really cares even a little about. Throw in the face paint, crying more than Dick Vermeil and the overhyped squirrel dance, and the man perceived to be one of the great leaders in the NFL spends an awful lot of time cultivating his own image."
So Lewis has taken his shots in the media this week, and this business about the antler spray hasn't made things any easier for him.
But the good news for the Ravens is that the week is finally drawing to a close. Pretty soon they'll be through answering questions and out of the madness. And by 6:30 or so Sunday evening, the only thing that will really matter is the game.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."